I just received an email from Laurie Reece, the executive director of the Alliance for Paired Donation. The current issue of People magazine has dedicated five pages (which is a lot) to cover the story of a live kidney donor chain that started in 2007, has involved 21 people so far, and is still continuing. (This particular donor chain is also mentioned in a Sep 2009 blog post when it was ten people long.) This is the kind of favorable publicity that may encourage many more people to be live kidney donors.


Unmatched pairs and their exchange partners. Photo from People

As Ms. Reece says in her email:

People magazine, one of the most widely read periodicals in the country, includes a story and photos this week about the groundbreaking approach to increasing the quantity and quality of kidney transplants through non-simultaneous extended altruistic donor (NEAD) chains pioneered by the Alliance for Paired Donation.

“The 5-page feature includes photos and interviews of donors and recipients involved in the world’s first and longest chain of kidney transplants made possible by maximizing the good that can come from an altruistic, or Good Samaritan, kidney donor. The chain was coordinated through Alliance for Paired Donation from July 2007 to March 2008. The donor at the end of the chain continues to wait for her chance to continue the chain. 

“People’s assistant editor, Lorenzo Benet and camera crew spent a weekend in October at the University of Toledo meeting, interviewing and photographing the kidney chain participants. The magazine has a weekly circulation of 3.75 million – and this week’s issue also happens to feature the “Sexiest Man Alive” contest winner, so newsstand sales should be brisk.“

[Update1: I sent an email to Ms Reece telling her that I mentioned the People article in my blog. Below is part of her response:

“We’re getting about three times the Web traffic we normally do, so the People story is making an impact, […] one we hope we can keep up with.” ]

[Update2: Another long kidney donor chain is featured in Glamour magazine (see Feb 2010 blog post).]